Art Thomas has been pastor at Messiah United Methodist Church since March 2000. He actively preaches, teaches classes at the church, engages in pastoral visitation, pastoral counseling, hospital visitation, and spiritual direction. He served as spiritual director on three Cursillo retreats and five Maryland Walk to Emmaus renewal retreats.

Art Thomas was born on July 14, 1950 in Richmond, Virginia. He received his B.A. from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, his Master of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, his Master of Theology and Ph. D. in Church History from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, and the Master of Arts in Christian Education and Spiritual Formation from Wesley Theological Seminary.

He was an ordained Presbyterian pastor from 1979 until 1996 serving churches in Culpeper County and Salem, Virginia before he became a United Methodist. He was pastor of Deer Park United Methodist Church in Reisterstown, Maryland as well as Director of Archives and History at the Lovely Lane Museum in Baltimore before coming to Messiah Church.

His passions in ministry are spiritual formation, discipleship, Christian education, prayer, and small group fellowship. He also enjoys incorporating the arts into worship. He gives talks on great artists and the spirituality behind their work. Messiah Church has chancel dramas and pageants, choir cantatas, puppet shows for children, and hopes to begin liturgical dancing. Art Thomas has a children's sermon most weeks for the younger children.

Besides his pastoral work, he serves as part-time professor of Christian Spirituality at the Ecumenical Institute of Theology of St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore and adjunct faculty of the History of Christian Spirituality at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He teaches classes on Foundations of Christian Spirituality, Spiritual Disciplines, Spiritual Gifts, Art and Spirituality, History of Christian Spiritual Traditions, Theology and Practice of Prayer, Spiritual Classics, and has taught the Basic Church History Survey at Wesley Seminary. In the past he has taught at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, Trinity School for Ministry, Virginia Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, and the C. S. Lewis Institute. He has led spiritual pilgrimages to Italy, France, Germany, and the British Isles and will be hosting a tour of Italy in May 2005.

His interests include history, the visual arts, music, travel, and watching gymnastic and swimming events. He serves as curator of the John Evans House located at the Robert Strawbridge Shrine in New Windsor, Maryland and is active in the Caring and Sharing Ministries of Taneytown.

Please contact him for any assistance at the parsonage--410 756 6092